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All four Eastern Conference pairings set

Saturday, 04.11.2009 / 9:45 PM / NHL Insider

By NHL.com Staff

Pittsburgh's 3-1 victory at Montreal on Saturday night has set up all four Eastern Conference pairings in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Montreal's loss assured that the Canadiens will finish eighth. That earned the Canadiens an opening-round matchup with first-place Boston -- a repeat of last year's first round, in which the Canadiens outlasted the Bruins 4-3. The teams have met 31 times in the playoffs, with Montreal winning 24 times. The Bruins finish their season Sunday on the road against the New York Islanders.

Second-place Washington will play the seventh-place New York Rangers, who finish their season Sunday at Philadelphia. The Caps won the Southeast Division by 11 points over Carolina and won three of their four meetings with the Rangers.

New Jersey, which won the Atlantic Division, will play sixth-place Carolina after beating the Hurricanes on Saturday in the season finale for both teams. Carolina won its first three meetings with the Devils this season.

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh will meet in the other first-round series, though the Flyers need a point on Sunday to earn fourth place and the home-ice edge in the opening round.

Pittsburgh won four of the six meetings this season, one in overtime and another in a shootout.
Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh